The 400 Primary Schools is a DAPP Malawi’s education program that brings together and encourages graduated teachers from DAPP Teachers Training Colleges (TTC) to stick together. They meet regularly to share ideas and knowledge on how they can improve the learning and living environments around their various schools.
Austin Banda is member of network also known as We do more teachers. He graduated from DAPP Chilangoma TTC in 2008 and is currently teaching in standard 7 at Mchilingano Primary school in Mchengawedi education zone traditional authority Malemia in Zomba district.
“I teach Expressive arts, Chichewa, Life skills and Religious education. Apart from these, the 400 primary school network teaches us the importance of holding extra curriculum activities. One of the activities that I host is organizing learners in small groups where they help each other in learning, this is called club. The learners are currently learning the art of sewing through the production of various sports attires” says Austin.
Through these lessons, leaners are then able to pass the skills on to their fellow learners, family members and the community “The lesson shall help learners to make their clothes and sell some to earn and income” said Austin
The 400 Primary Schools project started in 2012 with 16 teachers but is currently working with 100 teachers who are working in 80 primary schools across 18 districts in Malawi.
Humana People to People (HPP) joins the rest of the world in marking International Education Day commemorated annually on 24 January, to honour education and its critical importance to human well-being and sustainable development. The theme this year is ‘Learning for people, planet, prosperity and peace’.
The 2020 celebration positions education and learning as humanity’s greatest transformative tool , thus a fundamental universal right and a public good. Education is an enabler of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As such, drawing attention to “inclusive and equitable education” is integral in accelerating progress to meet the 17 targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Education is at the heart of both personal and community development. Its purpose is to help develop and fully realize and embrace talent and creative potential, including taking responsibility for life and positively contributing to society. Education is a powerful catalyst for combating poverty and inequality, improving health and well-being, and overcoming stigma and discrimination. It is the key to achieving gender equality and vital for healthy lives and informed decisions at family and community level..
United Nations Education and Scientific Culture Organisation (UNESCO:2020) reveals that 258 million children and youth do not attend school, 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math, with less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa completing lower secondary school.
Globally, the UN estimates that 69 million new teachers are required to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030. Lack of skilled teachers hinders progress towards achieving universal primary or secondary education, with many untrained teachers and children failing to receive proper education.
For more than 25 years, HPP has been actively working to promote access to education for marginalized children in Africa and India. Engaging the HPP teacher training model, this initiative was first implemented in Maputo, Mozambique in 1993. The concept has since grown and is now being taught in 53 colleges operated by members of HPP in Angola, Congo DR, Guinea Bissau, India, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. Through these colleges, 42,000 primary school teachers have been trained. The majority of teachers work in remote rural communities, positively impacting on the learning outcomes of millions of children.
Close to 5,000 primary school teachers graduate yearly from HPP teacher training colleges. Many then choose to further develop their profession by joining the member’s national networks of graduated teachers committed to improving conditions of primary school education by strengthening the quality of teaching pedagogy through teaching materials, sharing experiences and finding solutions to emerging challenges.
Watch a film about DAPP Malawi’s teacher training here.
On 19 December 2019, DAPP Malawi joined the celebration of the awarding of TEVET certificates to 55 youth who had been trained in Shoe Making and Tailoring trades at DAPP Mzimba Teachers Training College (TTC) under DAPP Mikolongwe Vocational School. 34 Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) were awarded Tailoring certificates following a 4-month training. While 35 young women and men were awarded certificates for completing in Cobbler and Shoe Making training.
The awarding of 34 Tailoring certificates marks the completion of the Satellite Tailoring project for Mzimba TTC's. The centre was expected to train 180 AGYW by December 2019 with support from Sympany of Netherlands, and a total of 182 beneficiaries have so far been trained. Upon completion of their courses, the students receive start up tools in groups of three students that enable them to establish small scale businesses in tailoring and shoe making. The two programs are under DAPP Mikolongwe Vocational School which was established in 1997 to train and equip youth with technical and entrepreneurial skills for them to become self-reliant by securing an employment or being able to start up a small scale business.
24 Preschool care givers from Preschools around DAPP Chilangoma Teachers Training College (TTC) in Blantyre participated in a two week training on Early Childhood Development (ECD). The 24 care giver from 17 preschools around Chilangoma TTC being trained under DAPP’s preschool project which aims at reducing absenteeism, dropout rates and increasing preschool enrollment rates were awarded certificate after the completion of the training.
Chief Child Development Officer Mrs. Pauline Simwaka from the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, was the guest of honor, said “the transition program being implemented by DAPP is helping government’s dreams of transforming the education sector in ECD’s”
Mrs. Simwaka further commended the work chiefs are doing in the country as they act as advocates of development in the communities. “Chiefs are custodian in the community and they work with NGO’s and Government to enhance development in their areas. I encourage them to keep doing that” she concluded.
Also present at the function was Chief Gundo who assured DAPP and government representatives that they will make sure that these caregivers are getting the support needed from them and the community members to fulfill their goal. “As chiefs, we have the responsibility to make sure that the communities are educated inorder to eradicate illiteracy in our communities.” Said the chief.
Representative of the Care givers at the graduation, Cecilia Manyungwa, a care giver at Jumbe Pres-school who hells from Chapepa Village, Traditional Authority Kumthembwe said they will go home with more experience, they have learned many strategies on how to teach the children in the pre-schools.
“Thank you DAPP for organizing the training” she said
Gibson Abner DAPP representative and Project leader for the project said it is necessary to train the Caregivers since they are the torch bearers for the leaners.
“Apart from this training, every month, we organize a refresher course for the care givers. We have also trained the community on Pass-on Loan systems where the communities are given animals like pigs as an Income Generating Activity for the pre-schools” he said.
DAPP Malawi has been working with preschool caregivers since 2014 to ensure pupils are well equipped for a smooth transition into primary school
Mphatso Thanki grew up in Blantyre district where she also did her secondary education. In search of further education opportunities, she found herself at DAPP’s Mikolongwe Vocational School (MVS) in Chiradzulu district where she studied Electrical Installation & Renewable energy course and graduated from the institution in 2016.
After graduation, Mphatso job hunted for six months before being employed by Sharma Electrical Company which is one of the biggest and leading electrical installation entities in Malawi. The company is mostly sub contracted by building companies with massive projects to do the electrical installation part. Since being employed, Mphatso has been deployed to four different sites including the university of Malawi’s the Polytechnic’s ICT center and as of September 2019 the magnificent Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) building being built by Terrastone behind Kamuzu Stadium. “Working in different sites has given me valuable work experience” says Mphatso with a smile.
Mphatso is grateful to MVS and DAPP Malawi for the training which has enabled her to find a job. Her dream is to gain more experience and upgrade her studies for better opportunities. “Before enrolling in the course at Mikolongwe Vocational school, I never thought I would ever be employed and afford basic needs. But now, I am employed and I can afford to take care of myself. I am proud that I no longer rely on my parents” Mphatso said DAPP Mikolongwe Vocational School currently offer 11 formal and informal courses as a way of ensuring that youth are equipped with knowledge and skills that will enable them to become self-reliant members of society while bringing development to the country. More than 10,500 youth have been trained at the school since its inception in 1999.